So today I turn 24 years old. That happened quickly. Is it wrong of me to say I feel like I'm getting old? The answer is probably yes. Or that when I think of a 24 year old, I think of someone who should have their life together, because I certainly do not. I'm not sure how I feel about this age, like I said I feel like I should have my life together when I see so many people with their life together, but then again I'm on my own journey right? and I shouldn't compare my life to where others are.
Regardless on how I feel about this age, time doesn't really give a shit and the world keeps spinning. So I guess I have to just continue on and make sense of this thing we call life and the up's and down's that are accompanied with it. So now as a somewhat mature (except after a few drinks) adult, here are some things I have learnt so far, and advice for those entering their twenties and like me have no idea where this journey is taking them or what they are doing.
Nothing goes to plan
Seriously. Guys. It doesn't. I consider myself a planner, I like to know exactly what I'm doing with my life and the next steps that follow. Guys, it never goes the way you expect it. Even if you plan it and think of all the logical way's that events may occur. When I finished high school, I went to uni, with the focus of finishing my degree and getting an office job, climbing the career ladder and wearing corporate wear (I miss wearing corporate wear, cute skirt and heels). This ten year plan included getting married (by 23, lets all laugh together at that one) and having a couple of kids by 30 (Oh god I cringe when I think of that plan). Not because there is anything wrong with it, but because I've changed, and with each year my values, beliefs and wants changed.
Family is number one
THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN FAMILY. They are the ones that will be there for you when you're down shit creek with no paddle. They will be there at the highs and lows, picking you up when you fall down and being by your side when you're triumphant. They will always be there with a shoulder to cry on or to make you laugh so much it hurts. I'm going to admit that it's hard even at 24, living on the other side of the world and being away from them. Thank God for Skype, Facetime and all that technological stuff that makes it easier to connect.
Friends will come and go (it's ok to let them go)
This is a hard one, because letting go of friends who you used to be so close to isn't easy. However that's life, sometimes you're just not on the same path, and you have different beliefs and values. This would always drain me, because I would try so hard to hold on, but sometimes it's better for your health and your sanity to let go. Be thankful for their time in your life, because everyone brings something to your life, they all impact you and they come into your life for a reason. Some are meant to stay and some are meant to go.
Follow your passion
You're not doing yourself any good unless you follow your passions in life, that thing that sets your soul on fire and makes your eyes light up when you speak about it. There is nothing I love more than hearing people follow their passions and their success stories. There will be days where you question what you're doing, because you'll have a few failures on your way there, but know that it's worth it. Keep going.
Everything happens for a reason
This motto is what helps me get through life and get over FOMO. If a door closes, it is meant to close, because there is another ready for you to open, the one that is specially for you. If there is something that my parents always taught me it's to have faith. God has a plan for each of us, and I know many people may disagree or have a different idea, but I think you should trust the timing of your life. If you didn't get that job you really wanted, or a relationship failed. It happened for a reason. You won't be able to see it at the time, but another job offer may come along that's the perfect fit for you. You will later meet someone that will make you the happiest person alive. Exhibit A: I reluctantly came back from Europe two years ago. My god it was heart-wrenching to leave for numerous reason, I was planning to go back within the first few months that I returned, but then I got a job, and I spent the next two years working. I am now back in Europe and looking back I know I was meant to come home and I'm so glad I did. Why? because I grew so much in those two years, I became independent, I bungee jumped, I traveled, I met amazing people who would become my closest friends. I came home for a reason, and I am so thankful I did.
You should DEFINITELY travel
Travel will change you. It will make you open minded, and change the way you look at the world. It will make you question things and make you look at life in a different perspective. There is nothing better than immersing yourself in a new culture, learning and observing their way of life. It will allow you to meet new people, people who will have a profound impact on your life. I came back grateful, for what I have and the opportunity to travel, because a lot of people don't get that luxury.
Don't get held back by fear
Growing up I was always fearful of doing things, trying new things because I didn't like making a fool of myself or failing. I remember not wanting to compete in swimming competitions or progressing further because of the possibility of failure. Unfortunately failure is apart of life, and the best way of being able to push past it is by knowing that failure isn't a dirty word, it's a lesson. It helps us progress further. I was always scared to get a job because of making mistakes. The first memory I have of pushing past it was getting a job as a waitress and before we started the owner said. 'Look, you're going to drop plates, and spill things, it's inevitable. Shit happens.' But you keep going, you don't run off, giving up saying you can't do it. You suck it up and keep going. I'm not saying at this age, I'm fearless and can do anything. I still struggle with it. But I'm less fearful. I give things a go even though I may embarrass myself.
Never lose your childlike wonder
Keep being curious, ask questions, look at the world full of wonder. Because there is so much wonder in the world. I was reminded to this recently when walking through Prague's old town, and noticed the amazement in the kids eyes when bubbles were floating across the town.
Everyone is on different journey's
We're all on different journey's in life, it's never the same as the person next to you. So don't compare where you are in life to someone else. They may be where you want to be but some journey's take longer than others. Like I said everything happens for a reason, so live life and only worry about where you're heading. Be ambitious and do what you have to do for you. Don't worry about anything else.
Enjoy the little things
Because it's the little things that matter, a rainbow after a storm, good coffee, making a friend laugh, dinner with the family, walking around a city at night. It's the little things that make life worth while.
J E S S I C A x